Allegan is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 4,998 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Allegan County. The city lies within Allegan Township, but is administratively autonomous. Allegan was named in a neologism by Michigan historian Henry Rowe Schoolcraft in 1837 to sound like a Native American word. Land was purchased from government to form the downtown business district; village organization came in 1838 with city incorporation authorized in 1907. Allegan is located in the south-central portion of the county. To the west and northwest is the nearly 50,000 acre forest Allegan State Game Area for which the city is considered a gateway. Lake Allegan in Valley Township is also a great tourist destination for boating, fishing, and swimming activities. Allegan's dense forests, lakes, and river geography served as a source of water power, trade routes for steamboats and timber production. Once cleared, Allegan became a center for business, industry and expansive farmland.
Allegan County is the 18th largest physical county in Michigan (at 827 square miles) and enjoys 25 miles (40 km) of Lake Michigan coastline. The City of Allegan, as the other towns and the county itself, enjoys numerous parks, natural areas and access to multiple opportunities for lake activities and water sports. Allegan's largest annual celebration, widely reputed as the largest county fair in Michigan, is the Allegan County Fair each September. Allegan's local newspaper, locally owned and in publication since 1858, is the Allegan County News.
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,998 people, 1,986 households, and 1,204 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,298.2 inhabitants per square mile (501.2/km²). There were 2,226 housing units at an average density of 578.2 per square mile (223.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.4% White, 4.3% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.8% of the population.
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